France issues list of non-reimbursed homeopathy drugs

The full list of homeopathic and herbal medicines that will no longer be reimbursed by the French State from January 1, 2021, has been published.

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Health minister Agnès Buzyn confirmed the list this week, following her decision earlier this year to phase out State reimbursements of homeopathic and herbal medicines.

The decision was made in July this year after health authority la Haute Autorité de Santé concluded that there was “an absence of efficiency” of these products, according to the data available.

As a result, State reimbursement for homeopathic medicine will drop from its current level of 30% to 15% from January 1, 2020, and to 0% from January 1, 2021.

Hundreds of homeopathic and herbal medicines feature on the final list of those that will no longer be reimbursed.

These include arnica montana, which proponents suggest should be used to help avoid bruising or bumps; oscillococcinum, to help with ‘flu symptoms; and nux vomica, for digestive issues.

The full list, published by national legal service LegiFrance on its website, can be seen here (PDF, in French).

Ms Buzyn’s decision was controversial, and has been criticised by a group of pro-homeopathy French MPs, as well as major homeopathic medicine producer and French company Laboratoires Boiron.

A campaign called “Mon Homéo Mon Choix (My Homeopathy, My Choice)” was also launched by Boiron, with homeopathy teaching authority CEDH (l’Ecole d’Enseignement de l’Homéopathie).

Yet, in an interview at the time, Ms Buzyn said: “I understand the attachment that the French people have for this type of treatments. But [homeopathy] has not proven their benefit to public health nor to current pathologies. We should maybe focus more on the idea that it is not always necessary to take medicine.”

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